Wed, 29 June 2016
Professor Michael Farrell FRCP FRCPsych is the Director of NDARC (National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre). He moved to Sydney from London in March 2011 following his appointment to NDARC. Prior to joining NDARC he was Professor of Addiction Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry at Kings College London. His extensive research interests include treatment evaluation, including the development of the National Treatment Outcomes Profile, a brief outcomes measurement instrument for drug and alcohol dependence. He has a long standing interest in drug dependence in prisons and within the wider criminal justice system. He has been a member of the WHO Expert Committee on Drug and Alcohol Dependence since 1995 and chaired the WHO External Evaluation of the Swiss Heroin Trial.
From the paper presented at the Annual Congress of the Royal College of Psychiatrists:
FROM AN ORIGINAL PAPER ENTITLED:
Crystalline methamphetamine use and methamphetamine-related harms in Australia
Concerns about crystal methamphetamine use and harm have increased in multiple countries. The harms of regular methamphetamine use include mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, dependence and psychosis, physical health problems, violent and aggressive behaviour, involvement in criminal activity, injecting and sexual risk, and in some cases, overdose deaths.
The types of methamphetamine used range from amphetamine-type-stimulant pills and amphetamine powder to high purity crystalline methamphetamine. ‘Ice’ is the street name given to the relatively pure preparation of methamphetamine hydrochloride salt because its translucent crystalline appearance resembles ice (also referred to by the street names ‘shard’, ‘crystal’ and ‘skates’). This pure preparation of methamphetamine originated in Taiwan and South Korea, and subsequently spread to the USA where it was dubbed the ‘drug of the 1990s’.
The increased use of crystal methamphetamine raises concerns because the high purity of the drug allows a new route of administration, inhalation. Crystal methamphetamine vaporises when heated, and can be inhaled, affording high bioavailability and an almost immediate drug effect because the drug is rapidly absorbed into the blood stream via the lungs, bypassing the metabolic processes that reduce the proportion of the drug that reaches the brain.
Louisa Degenhardt1, Grant Sara2, Rebecca McKetin3, Amanda Roxburgh1, Timothy Dobbins1, Michael Farrell1, Lucinda Burns1 and Wayne D. Hall4,5
Sydney NSW Australia 2052
Northern Clinical School
University of Sydney
Sydney NSW Australia
Perth WA Australia 6008
University of Queensland
St Lucia QLD Australia
Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience
Kings College London
Corresponding author: Louisa Degenhardt
Wed, 29 June 2016
The Euthansia Program in Nazi-Psychiatry - Dr Michael Von Cranach talks to Dr Raj Persaud about German Psychiatry in the Nazi era.
The “Euthanasia “ Program in Nazi-Psychiatry
Dr Michael Von Cranach, an eminent German Psychiatrist, discusses with Dr Raj Persaud his research into the Nazi era, at the Royal College of Psychiatrists Annual Congress, London, 27th of June 2016.
Tue, 28 June 2016
Professor Frank Schneider, M.D., Ph.D. Chair, Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, University Hospital Aachen and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, also Past President of the German Society for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, talks to Dr Raj Persaud about the role of the German Society for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy in the mass murder of psychiatric patients which occurred in Germany during the Second World War at the hands of Nazis and Nazi ideology. How was it that elite doctors and psychiatrists, caring and highly accomplished clinicians, could so rapidly be transformed into killing machines? Some 200,000 psychiatric patients eventually lost their lives, often at the hands of their own doctors – could the same thing happen again? The interview occurs at the Royal College of Psychiatrist Annual Congress 2016 just before Professor Schneider takes part in a panel discussion on how German psychiatric patients suffered during the Nazi era partly as a result of the rise in eugenics or genetic theories concerning the spread of mental illness. Is it possible that the modern rise of biological psychiatry could presage the same atrocities occurring again?
Sun, 26 June 2016
What is it like to be stalked? In this astonishing interview a victim of stalking describes in vivid detail what it feels like to be stalked. Do her experiences explain why stalkiing has been described as a kind of psychological rape or terrorism?
Direct download: raj_talks_to_eleanor_about_her_terrifying_stalking_experience.mp4
Category:general -- posted at: 10:18pm UTC
Mon, 13 June 2016
Walk into any health food shop and you would think that omega-3 highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFAs) were a panacea for all ills - the hype for these dietary supplements arises from recent research which appeared to find various benefits but now a study published by Brian Hallahan and colleagues attempts to pool all the data accumulated on the subject and cut through to the truth.
From the original recently published paper by Brian Hallahan and colleagues
Efficacy of omega-3 highly unsaturated fatty acids in the treatment of depression* Brian Hallahan, Timothy Ryan, Joseph R. Hibbeln, Ivan T. Murray, Shauna Glynn, Christopher E. Ramsden, John Paul SanGiovanni and John M. Davis
The British Journal of Psychiatry 1–10. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.114.160242
Many randomised controlled trials (RCTs) have reported beneficial effects for omega-3 highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFAs) in bipolar and major depressive disorder, but others have reported essentially no effect.... possible explanatory factors: (a) that only eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)-predominant formulations of omega-3 HUFA have an antidepressant effect;37,38 and (b) that the putative antidepressant effects of omega-3 HUFAs only occur in episodes of diagnosed clinical depression...
The study found that:
Among participants with diagnosed depression, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)-predominant formulations (450% EPA) demonstrated clinical benefits compared with placebo... whereas docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-predominant formulations (450% DHA) did not. EPA failed to prevent depressive symptoms among populations not diagnosed for depression.
Direct download: Does_Eating_More_Fish_Cure_or_Prevent_Depression3F.mp3
Category:(6) PSYCHIATRY AT THE CUTTING EDGE Academic Psychiatrists and Psychologists discuss the latest research findings -- posted at: 5:56am UTC
Sun, 12 June 2016
Interview with Ruth Wells - lead author on new paper on mental health of Syrian Refugees published in the British Journal of Psychiatry - From the introduction in the paper:
The United Nations (UN) has labelled the current Syrian conflict as the worst humanitarian crisis that has occurred within the first part of the 21st century. It is estimated that there are in excess of 4 million displaced Syrian refugees in the Middle East and over 629 000 who have been displaced to Jordan, the focus of this review. Although many displaced Syrians live in refugee camps, the largest being Za’atari camp which is home to over 120 000 people, the vast majority live in the host community. In Jordan, people from Syria have limited access to work permits and are often required to work in the informal sector to secure livelihood. Those registered with the UN are eligible to access some cash assistance, food vouchers and education and health systems, although the health system has struggled to keep up with demand. Stressors inherent in forced displacement,5 combined with exposure to potentially traumatic events (PTEs) during conflict, are likely to contribute to the development of heightened mental health difficulties in such settings.
From the introduction to this new paper
Psychosocial concerns reported by Syrian refugees living in Jordan: systematic review of unpublished needs assessments Ruth Wells, Zachary Steel, Mohammad Abo-Hilal, Abdul Halim Hassan and Catalina Lawsin
The British Journal of Psychiatry 1–8. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.115.165084
Ruth Wells, BSc, University of Sydney, Australia; Zachary Steel, PhD, MClinPsych, School of Psychiatry, University New South Wales, The Black Dog Institute, Hospital Road, Prince of Wales Hospital, New South Wales, Australia; Mohammad Abo Hilal, MD, Syria Bright Future; Abdulhalim Hasan, MD, American Medical Center, Erbil, Iraq; Catalina Lawsin, PhD, Department of Behavioral Sciences, RUSH Medical Center, Chicago, USA
Direct download: raj_persaud_talks_to_ruth_wells_about_her_research_on_syrian_refugees.mp3
Category:(6) PSYCHIATRY AT THE CUTTING EDGE Academic Psychiatrists and Psychologists discuss the latest research findings -- posted at: 10:11pm UTC
Fri, 19 February 2016
Thu, 14 January 2016
Hugh Middleton discusses his new book 'Psychiatry Reconsidered', with Dr Raj Persaud - his book is a n exciting critique of many of the serious problems with modern psychiatry, including fundamental questions he raises over issues such as diagnosis, treatment and the medical model.
Hugh Middleton is both an Associate Professor of the School of Sociology and Social Policy and an NHS Consultant Psychiatrist. Hugh qualified in medicine in 1974 (Cambridge and St George's), became a Member of the Royal College of Physicians in 1976, completed an MD (Cambridge) in 1980, became a Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 1986 and was elected a Fellow in 2009.
Hugh led organisation of the third and fourth Qualitative Research in Mental Health conferences which took place in Nottingham in 2010 and 2012, contributed to the fifth in 2014 and is due to give a keynote address at the sixth in May 2016, which will be held in Crete. He has organised a monthly University of Nottingham seminar providing "Critical Perspectives on Health and Social Care" in the form of visiting speakers and multidisciplinary discussion and debate. He has supervised six successful PhDs exploring various aspects of mental health difficulty from a social sciences perspective and his undergraduate teaching is a popular elective third module, "Sociological Perspectives of Medicine: the Case of Psychiatry".
From Palgrave Macmillan website:
From Medical Treatment to Supportive Understanding
Psychiatry suffers a lot of criticism, not least from within its own scientifically founded medical world. This book provides an account of mental health difficulties and how they are generally addressed in conventional medical circles, alongside critical reviews of the assumptions underpinning them to encourage more humanitarian perspectives.
Tue, 1 September 2015
Dr Raj Persaud talks to a lady who received ECT or shock treatment after a prolonged and severe bout of depression. What is it like to be treated with this therapy? What kind of problems lead doctors to consider using it? Are there side-effects? In the long-run is it worth it? Does this treatment work? Is the reality of such a treatment anything like it's portrayal in Hollywood films? All these questions and more are tackled in this rare interview with someone who has actually received ECT.
Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen are joint podcast editors for the Royal College of Psychiatrists and also now have a free app on iTunes and Google Play store entitled ‘Raj Persaud in conversation’, which includes a lot of free information on the latest research findings in mental health, plus interviews with top experts from around the world.
Download it free from these links:
Direct download: ect_and_raj.mp3
Category:(3) EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIENCES of severe emotional turmoil -- posted at: 10:26pm UTC
Wed, 5 August 2015
From The Great Courses website:
Whether you’re huddled around the campfire, composing an email to a friend, or sitting down to write a novel, storytelling is fundamental to human nature. But as any writer can tell you, the blank page can be daunting. It’s tough to know where to get started, what details to include in each scene, and how to move from the kernel of an idea to a completed manuscript.
Writing great fiction isn’t a gift reserved for the talented few. There is a craft to storytelling that can be learned, and studying the fiction writer’s techniques can be incredibly rewarding—both personally and professionally. Even if you don’t have ambitions of penning the next Moby-Dick, you’ll find value in exploring all the elements of great fiction.
From evoking a scene to charting a plot to selecting a point of view, Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques offers a master class in storytelling. Taught by acclaimed novelist James Hynes, a former visiting professor at the famed Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the University of Michigan, these 24 insightful lectures show you the ins and outs of the fiction writer’s craft.
Raj Persaud talks to Professor James Hynes on why people write.
Professor James Hynes is a published novelist who has taught creative writing as a visiting professor at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, the University of Michigan, The University of Texas, Miami University, and Grinnell College. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Michigan and a Master of Fine Arts from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
Professor Hynes is the author of five works of fiction: Next, which received the 2011 Believer Book Award from the Believer magazine; Kings of Infinite Space, a Washington Post best book for 2004; The Lecturer’s Tale and Publish and Perish, which were both New York Times Notable Books of the Year; and The Wild Colonial Boy, which received the Adult Literature Award from the Friends of American Writers and was a New York Times Notable Book for 1990. In addition to his work as a novelist, he has also written book reviews and literary essays, which have appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Boston Review, Salon, and other publications.
Professor Hynes has received several literary grants and teaching fellowships, including a James Michener Fellowship from the University of Iowa, a Teaching-Writing Fellowship from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and a Michigan Council for the Arts writer’s grant. He currently lives in Austin, Texas, and is writing a new novel.
For more information on Professor Hynes and his books:
You can listen to the interview via a free app on iTunes and google play store entitled 'Raj Persaud in conversation', which includes a lot of free information on the latest research findings in mental health, plus interviews with top experts from around the world. Download it free from these links